As published on: tekedia.com, Monday 25 September, 2023.
The UK government is close to passing a new bill that would give law enforcement agencies the power to seize cryptocurrencies that are linked to criminal activities. The bill, which has been in the works for over a year, is expected to receive royal assent in the next few weeks and become law by the end of the year.
The bill aims to address the challenges posed by the growing use of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes, such as money laundering, terrorism financing, fraud and cybercrime. According to the Home Office, cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used by criminals to evade detection and prosecution, as they offer a high degree of anonymity and decentralization.
The bill would amend the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which currently allows authorities to confiscate cash and other assets that are derived from or intended for criminal conduct. The bill would extend this provision to include cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero, as well as any other digital tokens that have a value or function as a medium of exchange.
The bill would also create a new category of “crypto assets subject to seizure”, which would cover any cryptocurrencies that are held or controlled by a person who is suspected of being involved in criminal activity, or who has been convicted of a relevant offence. The bill would empower the police, the National Crime Agency and other authorized agencies to apply for a seizure order from a court, which would allow them to take possession of the crypto assets and transfer them to a secure wallet.
The bill would also establish a framework for the valuation, storage and disposal of seized crypto assets. The bill would require the authorities to use an approved method of valuation, such as a reputable exchange rate or an independent expert opinion, to determine the value of the crypto assets at the time of seizure. The bill would also require the authorities to store the crypto assets in a secure and auditable manner, and to dispose of them in accordance with the court’s directions.
The bill has received support from various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, regulators, industry associations and crypto experts. They have welcomed the bill as a necessary and proportionate measure to combat the misuse of cryptocurrencies and protect the public from harm. They have also praised the bill for being technology-neutral and flexible, as it can accommodate any changes or innovations in the crypto space.
However, the bill has also faced some criticism from civil liberties groups, privacy advocates and some crypto enthusiasts. They have raised concerns about the potential impact of the bill on the rights and freedoms of legitimate crypto users, as well as the technical and practical challenges of implementing the bill. They have argued that the bill could undermine the core principles of cryptocurrencies, such as privacy, autonomy and decentralization, and create a chilling effect on innovation and adoption.
The bill is currently in its final stages of parliamentary scrutiny, after passing through both houses with minor amendments. It is expected to receive royal assent in November and come into force by December 2023. The bill will apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while Scotland will have its own legislation on crypto seizure.
Coinbase Gets Green Light from Bank of Spain to Operate in the Country
Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has announced that it has obtained an AML Registration from the Bank of Spain. This means that Coinbase is now authorized to provide crypto-related services in Spain, such as buying, selling, storing, and transferring digital assets.
But what is an AML Registration and how does it work? AML stands for Anti-Money Laundering, and it refers to a set of rules and procedures that aim to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities, such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and tax evasion.
The AML Registration is a requirement for crypto service providers in Spain, following the transposition of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) into national law. The directive is a European Union regulation that sets common standards for the crypto sector across the bloc.
To obtain the AML Registration, Coinbase had to submit an application to the Bank of Spain, providing information about its business model, governance structure, risk management policies, and compliance procedures. The Bank of Spain then reviewed the application and verified that Coinbase met the criteria established by the 5AMLD and the Spanish law.
Coinbase said that it is proud to be one of the first crypto platforms to receive the AML Registration from the Bank of Spain, and that it is committed to complying with the highest standards of regulatory compliance and customer protection. Coinbase also said that this milestone reflects its vision to create an open financial system for the world, and that it will continue to expand its presence and offerings in Europe and beyond.
But how does Coinbase compare to other crypto exchanges? According to CoinMarketCap, Coinbase ranks second among the top cryptocurrency spot exchanges by trading volume, liquidity, traffic, and confidence. It offers a range of products and services, such as Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Commerce, Coinbase Card, Coinbase Earn, and Coinbase Wallet. It also operates Coinbase Ventures, an investment arm that supports early-stage crypto startups.
Coinbase is a global leader in the crypto industry, with over 68 million verified users in more than 100 countries. It supports 244 cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP. It also has a high level of security and transparency, as it stores 98% of its customers’ funds offline and publishes regular reports on its operations.
Other crypto exchanges that compete with Coinbase include Binance, Kraken, Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gate.io, HTX, and many more. Each exchange has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of fees, features, customer service, user experience, and reputation. Cryptoradar is a useful tool that helps users compare different crypto exchanges based on various criteria.
Ultimately, choosing a crypto exchange depends on one’s personal preferences and needs. However, Coinbase is undoubtedly one of the most popular and trusted platforms in the market.